Archives of Dermatological Research

, Volume 288, Issue 9, pp 522–526

Suppression of UV-induced erythema by topical treatment with melatonin (N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine). A dose response study

  • Elisabeth Bangha
  • Peter Elsner
  • Gonzague S. Kistler
Original Paper

Abstract

Oxygen-centred free radicals play an important role in the pathogenesis of acute and chronic UV-induced skin damage as well as in skin aging. In this double-blind randomized study the efficacy of topically applied melatonin (N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine), a potent free radical scavenger, in the suppression of UV-induced erythema was assessed. A group of 20 healthy volunteers were irradiated with 0.099 J/cm2 UVB on four 5-cm2 areas on the lower back and topically treated with various concentrations of melatonin (0.05, 0.1, 0.5%) in a nanocolloid gel as carrier or with carrier alone. The UV-induced erythema was examined 8 and 24 h after irradiation by visual scoring and chromametry. A distinct dose response relationship was observed between the topical dose of melatonin and the degree of UV-induced erythema. Significant differences (P<0.05) were found in redness (chromameter a*-value and visual scoring) 8 h after irradiation between the areas treated with melatonin at 0.5% and those treated with melatonin at 0.05% or with the carrier. These results might open a new approach in the prevention and control of free radical-influenced skin diseases.

Key words

UV-erythema Sunburn Free radicals Melatonin (N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine) 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elisabeth Bangha
    • 1
  • Peter Elsner
    • 1
  • Gonzague S. Kistler
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of DermatologyUniversity of ZurichZurichSwitzerland
  2. 2.Uitikon-WaldeggSwitzerland

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